More Than Sand Dunes in Silver Lake: 7 Ways to Enjoy the Water

In the middle of a hot summer, nothing’s more refreshing than heading to the lake. Some people enjoy a quiet paddle, some seek out a full-throttle adventure and some just like to soak in the beauty during a relaxing day on the beach with the waves lapping at their toes.

What’s your style?

Whatever it is, you can do it in the Silver Lake Sand Dunes Area. Here are just 7 of the ways you can have fun in the water:

Kayak/paddleboard: Silver Lake’s not too big to paddle across to the dunes, where you can hang out on the beach or explore the endless mountains of sand. On calmer days you can even paddle up and down the Lake Michigan shoreline, catching glimpses of the fish below and the wide variety of waterfront cottages on the bluffs above. A recommended route: kayak or raft from Silver Lake down Silver Creek, which empties into the big lake at Golden Township Park. Or paddle down the nationally designated scenic White River.

Stone-skipping: There’s a nice bed of smooth, flat stones at the end of Silver Creek at Golden Township Park. Find a few beauties and send them skipping back upriver. How many skips can you get? While you’re there, take a short walk down the Lake Michigan beach and climb historic Little Sable Point lighthouse for a 360-degree view from over 100 feet up in the air.

Swimming: The water in Silver Lake is usually several degrees warmer than in Lake Michigan. A favorite for youngsters (and the young at heart): climb up the dunes, then run down and dive into the lake. The water is surprisingly deep right near the shore because sand from the dunes has filled in the shallow spots. Of course, the big lake can have big waves that are perfect for bodysurfing. The beaches at Golden Township Park and by the lighthouse in Silver Lake State Park are popular spots for Lake Michigan swimming and lounging in a tube.

Boating: Silver Lake is a great all-sports lake that’s protected a bit from the elements by the towering dunes to the west. You can launch from the Silver Lake State Park campground, and on warm summer days you’ll find a long row of boats beached at the foot of Dune Beach where people spend the day.

Water sports: Jet skiing, water skiing and tubing all are popular high-octane activities on Silver Lake. What’s your favorite? There are places you can rent wave runners, ski boats, motorboats, pontoon boats, sailboats, paddle boats and water sports equipment. You can even sandboard down the dunes and straight into the water!

Dune rides: Whether you drive your own vehicle, rent a dune buggy or get a ticket for Mac Wood’s Dune Rides, driving up and down the dunes – and into the water of Lake Michigan – is a blast. Silver Lake is the only place east of the Mississippi where you can drive on sand dunes.

Sunset: In a jeep on the dunes, a chair on the beach or a tube in the water, there is perhaps no place on earth that matches the beauty of Silver Lake at sunset. And you can get a different experience of the sunset each night you stay – watch from the beach as it sinks into Lake Michigan one night, then see the horizon of colors spill over the dunes and reflect on Silver Lake the next. You can even drive or hike up the dunes and see the big lake on one side, Silver Lake on the other and a vast expanse of sand at your feet for truly memorable sunset selfies. It’s literally awesome.

Come find your favorite way to enjoy Silver Lake. See all there is to do and find a place to stay.

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